48 Hours in Shanghai – Guest Post

I am very please to welcome Jess from Tripelio as my first ever guest blogger…

I’d like to thank Laura for sharing this article on her website. She offers some fantastic stories about life and travel, and I was particularly intrigued by her Travel Bucket List. Check it out when you get a chance!

Shanghai is the largest city in mainland China, and 48 hours is not nearly enough time for you to cover this lively place. Once you scratch the surface, you’ll quickly find yourself planning your next trip to this enchanting port city.

However, sometimes when traveling we are limited on time. Whether it’s due to a short business trip or a long layover, if you only have 48 hours in Shanghai there are a few things you simply must do. Here are the top places and sites to visit during your short journey through Shanghai.

Jess - Tripelio

Shanghai Museum

The Shanghai Museum houses one of China’s best collections of artifacts, boasting over 120,000 pieces, including Chinese calligraphy, coins, jade works, and more. It has eleven galleries and three special temporary exhibition halls. What’s better, you can visit the museum for free! Just be sure to pace yourself so you don’t end up spending your whole 48 hours there.

Jess - Tripelio

Jade Buddha Temple

There are quite a few temples in Shanghai, and these are popular sights for visitors to see. The Jade Buddha Temple is one of the most incredible temples in Shanghai. There you will discover two large white jade Buddha statues that were brought from Burma in the late 19th century. This temple is not only beautiful, but are a representation of the ancient history and culture that can be found on every corner of Shanghai.

Jess - Tripelio

The Bund

Following the Opium Wars, Shanghai was split into foreign-ruled sections, creating a city like no other. If you wander the neighborhood known as The Bund, you will find classic British architecture; the old French concession, on the other hand is very 1920s Parisian. In fact, Shanghai has one of the best collections of Art Deco buildings in the world. Wander around the different neighborhoods to see the differences in architecture, history and culture.

Try using navigation apps such as Explore Shanghai and Google Maps to help you easily explore all the unique architecture Shanghai has to offer. However, do remember that China censors websites and apps. It is a smart idea to download a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your smartphone or personal laptop when traveling in Shanghai. A VPN will allow you to access any site, regardless of any censorship issues.

Jess - Tripelio

Yu Garden Teahouses

Tea has always been an important trade item in Shanghai, and you should make sure that at some point in your time there you experience traditional Chinese tea. Head to the Yu Garden where tea shop owners will often offer you a sample of some tea in the hopes that you’ll purchase some. It can be a great way to try some different teas and learn more about the intricate tea culture of China.

Though 48 hours in Shanghai is not nearly enough time, with a little bit of planning, there is still plenty you can do. Shanghai’s mixture of the ancient and new make it a city truly like no other. Whether you decide to explore the ancient temples or modern day architecture, you will surely want to come back for more.   

About the Author: Jess Signet is an avid traveler and enjoys writing about her adventures. Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble she lives in makes her want to travel even further. Traveling is her drug, and she’s addicted. (Please, no intervention!)

How to Survive a Full Moon Party Thailand

Posted in

Attending a full moon party in Thailand is a rite of passage whilst on a backpacking trip. It maybe stereotypical or cliched, a bit tacky and unrefined, but it is a bucket list event!

Unlike any other party on the earth, the full moon party is an experience that will stay with you. It is the destination of a backpacker pilgrimage. It is the epitome of backpacking culture.  It is everything that is wrong with a backpacking culture!  It is everything that is right with a backpacking culture!  It is an unmissable experience and whatever happens, it will make a great story when you get home!

Now, I love Thailand but I must admit the Full Moon party wasn’t my highlight. I don’t know if it was the hype or the build up, but I’ve has better nights out in Thailand. I’ve put together a few tips for having the best full moon experience you can have. Try not to expect too much and you will have a great night!

Thailand 2009 124

  • First of all, a full moon party MUST involve UV paint…

Thailand 2009 252

  • Try not to start too early. Most people don’t think of leaving the hostel until 12, you’ve got to pace yourself.  Or, you will end up in here…

Thailand 2009 128

  • I think it’s best to stay in a hostel/ guesthouse away from Had Rin Beach.  You can get away from all the craziness and experience ‘the real’ Koh Phangan We stayed at Golden Hill Resort . It was amazing, (remember things do change so check out Tripadvisor).

Thailand 2009 136

  • Pre-arrange pick up with your hostel (if possible). We ended up going back with a crazy songthaew driver, including stoping to change cars half way home!  There are people who may take advantage of intoxicated backpackers looking for a lift home after the sun has risen and you’ve had enough!

Thailand 2009 088

  • You won’t get through the night without a few buckets! Make sure you choose your drinks stall carefully. Sellers often have branded spirits on display but actually sell open branded bottles refilled with cheap spirits. Be careful what you drink and where you buy it from.

Thailand 2009 187

 

  • Of course, It wouldn’t be a full moon party without getting a picture of an animal on your head…

Thailand 2009 109

  • Don’t take any valuables with you! If you can help it, don’t even take a bag. There are known gangs and pickpockets everywhere. Keep some emergency money hidden in your bikini or shorts, just incase.
  •  Be careful if you go in the sea and try and stay away from the fires! It might seem like a good idea but you wouldn’t believe what goes on, on the shores of Had Rin beach!

1935945_275683565583_80616_n

Have you got any full moon stories? I would love to them! Happy (safe) travels :)

#fromabackpack

Stop Worrying About Long Term Travel on your CV!

Lost & Found

I have to admit, I worried about the effect long-term travel would have on my CV.

I’ve have quite a few ‘gap years’, and in the past I’ve been creative with displaying and ‘hiding’ my travels. (In fact, I’ve had that many ‘gap years’ I don’t think I can keep calling them gap years anymore!). I worried that I hadn’t worked in the UK for a while . I worried that it would look like I had moved around too much. I worried I wouldn’t look committed. I worried I wouldn’t get a job!

Yet getting my most recent job, I spoke about my travels so much in the interview and used examples to back it up. They were definitely impressed by these situational examples and really valued the experiences I had gained through travel.

  • Travel teaches you how to problem solve. Problem solving is a great skill to have and something employers look for.  You know when something unexpected happens on your trip, or when you’re caught off guard? When your plans suddenly change or there is an emergency – that’s when you problem solve! Figuring out how to get from one place to another and by the cheapest means – that’s problems solving too! Problem solving also leads to creativity – another great skill to add to the list.
  • Travel teaches you how to get on with people. And I mean ALL people. From other cultures, traditions and beliefs. Funny people, smart people and down right annoying people! Getting along with people; small talk, openness, communication – these skills are invaluable.  You  know what it’s like, you rock up to a new hostel sweaty hot and tired, all you want to do is eat and go to bed, but travel forces you to be social to talk to people, to ask about them and to be interested in them. If you can do this after a 12 hour bus ride, you can do it with a horrible customer on a Monday morning.
  • Travel teaches you to be assertive. I think the word I used the most on my first trip to Asia was “NO“.  Employers want team players, but they also need you to be assertive. To be confident, bold and make decisions. Travel teaches you to become assertive, especially in situations where you may feel uncomfortable or pressured. If you can hold your own at Anjuna market in India, you can do it during a stressful meeting at work.
  • Travel teaches you about time keeping.  Yeah, Island ‘time’ is great. South African ‘time’ is even better, but when you miss a bus because you’ve become so laid back about timings – you realise time is important. And, you won’t make that mistake again. Travel teaches you about time. Time is all we’ve got, how you spend you days, that determines how you spend your life. Travel teaches you that time won’t wait. Just like that bus won’t wait for you. This works the same in a work environment. Travel teaches you not to waste peoples time. It’s precious.
  • Travels teach you to work hard! You will never meet a traveller that isn’t a grafter. Yes, we like to spend weeks on the beach but we worked bloody hard to get there! Employers want to see examples of dedication and commitment. There couldn’t be a better example than travel.

Travel helps you have a better grasp of the world we live in. It puts things into perspective. It teaches you gratitude. Never be afraid of talking about travel in a job interview, ‘to travel is to live’.

So, the next time you’re in a job interview, speak up about your travel! Be brave, use it as situational examples. It will make you stand out from all the other candidates. Travel is such a privilege, use it the best you can!

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us” – J.R.R. Tolkien

I’d love to hear if you’ve mentioned travels in  an interview, get in touch and let me know how you got on!

#FromABackpack